Maggie Schimeck’s experience playing field hockey has positively shaped her mindset for the better


Some athletes get into their sports through their friends, or family, or simply by watching a game online, and not typically through playing a wild game of street hockey in the middle of a summer camp. For Junior Margaret “Maggie” Schimeck, however, that was how she discovered the game that would connect and strengthen her positive mindset. 

“[When] I went to the summer camp, and I played street hockey. I was like, ‘this is really fun, actually.’ I loved being able to pass, look at everyone, and rely on people to just play a game I love.” Maggie said. “So when my mom picked me up, I said, ‘hey, is field hockey anything like street hockey?’ And she was like, ‘yeah,’ [so] I signed up for it.”

And thus, in the seventh grade, Maggie began the start of her five-year-long successful career in field hockey.

In the beginning, the sport was taxing to play as it requires a significant amount of stamina and strength to run across the field and simultaneously defend the goal.

Field hockey, like many other field games, has a 100-yard long and 60-yard wide field played 11 v 11, including the goalies. The main aim of the game is to score goals by putting the ball in the opposing team’s goal, which Maggie—as a mid-fielder—must be conscious of as she plays the back-and-forth position. 

“Field hockey is a sport that I like to describe as an amalgamation of soccer, lacrosse, and ice hockey,” Margaret said, “because you can probably take one rule from each of those games and find a variation of it in[field hockey].”

Luckily for Maggie, her best friend’s mom and family friend was the person who ran the Forest Hills Field Hockey organization, and the team consisted of a fair number of girls who were also Maggie’s friends. 

Together, the girls grew their skills and sharpen their playing styles over the years, slowly knitting together a team of highly-skilled field hockey players who knew their teammates inside and out.

“I’ve grown up with the girls that were on my team,” Maggie said. “We’ve matured in that sport together. So now we play a lot more fluently and we know each other’s playing style, so whenever we need to make a quick decision we automatically know what the others are going to do.”

Alongside being surrounded by supportive team members, the coaches often bring to life and lift their spirits, especially Maggie.

There are four coaches that regularly train the team. There is Coach Gabby, the head coach of the varsity field hockey team. Her dad, Coach Cody, is the goalie coach and funniest person ever—dad jokes all practice. Coach Brian, also likes to make dad jokes but is incredibly fun. And Coach Carol, who is really fun to talk with and tends to brighten Maggie’s day.

They train them for play, but ultimately, support their individual players every step of the way, win or lose. 

It feels like they[the coaches] have taught me a lot about being better to myself and my thoughts than focusing on my screw-ups and how bad they were.” – Margaret Schimeck

“Having all those people support me and make me feel like even if I mess up it wasn’t really my fault, I’ll just get it again,” Maggie said, “feels like [the coaches] have taught me a lot about being better to myself and my thoughts than focusing on my screw-ups and how bad they were.”

Sometimes, Maggie would say to herself that she would mess up again or would feel frustrated at not being able to do a certain move right away during drills.

However, when she would look back at her teammates she would see them joking with each other before going out again to do drills, and that would calm her nerves.

There were players two years older than her laughing because they hadn’t done them themselves either, so why should Maggie worry? 

“I know it means something, but whether I win or lose, it doesn’t matter because all the people who play this sport are just really happy and fun,” Maggie said. “And sometimes, we’ve given compliments to each other during a game while we are just standing there. It’s just the most welcoming environment I’ve ever been in. It’s the best.”